Transfering wort to fermenter : with or without trub ?

Post #1 made 6 years ago
Hi all,

After my first home brewing day Friday, here is my first post on :)

I've made a search on the forum and couldn't find any post comparing the two methods : some biab brewers transfer all the wort to the fermenter, with the trub, others rack it and try to leave all the trub in the pot, and I think some people transfer all the wort through the bag or some other filter.

So what are the pros and cons of keeping the trub ? Is there a risk of having off-flavours ?

Post #2 made 6 years ago
Hi clamsy, firstly welcome and congratulations on your first brew.

There was some recent discussion on this within this thread -

Go down to post #14 and read from there. Palmer mentions off flavours can develop after a couple of weeks, but some people do still transfer everything across. Personally I don't.

Another reason to keep the trub out, and not mentioned there, is if you use a fermenter with a tap at the bottom, when it comes time to bottle or keg, your tap is under the trub layer and it can become blocked or take more sediment than you want.
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Post #3 made 6 years ago
My thinking personally is that I want my finished beer to be as clear as possible so I try to avoid transferring trub.
I used to rack off of the trub leaving some wort behind. I now pump my wort thru a plate chiller and have a stainless screen on the kettle valve to try and filter the wort.
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Post #4 made 6 years ago
Probably time we did a comprehensive post on this one as it's a good question.

Reliable Sources of Information

The first thing, like anything in home brewing, is not to rely on a few posts from home brewers for the following reasons...

1. Homebrewers have very little ability to experiment when it comes to subtleties in brewing practices. Several side by sides, sometimes many, need to be conducted to make any sort of conclusions on a brewing practice. Despite this, it is not uncommon to see homebrewers jumping to incorrect conclusions such as, "I did this on one brewday, therefore it will work on my next brewday."

2. Even if something does make a positive difference on one beer style, it does not mean it will be a positive in other beer styles.

3. It is not uncommon for any individual brewer to be unable to detect certain off-flavours. For example, I may be able to pick up astringency where you can't and you may be able to pick up diacetyl when I can't. So it is quite possible that a brewer may be totally unaware that they even have a problem. Lucky for them!

What We Do Know - Trub 'Positive' - More vigorous fermentation.

The addition of trub in the fermentor can lead to a more vigorous fermentation due to the trub acting as CO2 nucleation sites which means basically that the suspended cell concentration is higher. (See here.)

Generally, the fermentation will start sooner and finish earlier.

What We Do Know - Trub 'Negative' - Off flavours

Here is a collection of sources on the effects of trub in fermentation.
Lager brewers believe cold break removal aids in colloidal stability in the beer, circumvents the formation of sulfury flavors, and removes harsh bitter fractions derived from hops. De Clerck suggests that clearer worts lead to beers that clarify better (7). It is reported that if significant amounts of trub are carried over into the ferment, the yeast will produce an excess of fusel alcohols. It has also been reported that suspended solids can lead to adverse effects on foam and flavor stability.
from The Brewer's Handbook by Ted Goldammer
Effective removal of hot trub before fermentation is critical because the trub can smear the yeast's cell walls, impeding the transport of substances in and out of the cell, which can lead to head retention problems, poor flavor stability, and harsh bitterness in the palate of the beer.
Hot Trub: Formation and Removal by Ron Barchet
...with more delicate beers there seems to be more possibility of having unacceptable sulphury aroma and taste.
Malting And Brewing Science by Hough, Stevens and Young.

Finding the Balance

Like a lot of things in brewing, there is not enough information to have the perfect answer for every beer style. I think my favourite quote, not sure if it is scientifically correct or not, was from a pro brewer, "Yeast like trub like we like candy but it's not necessarily good for them."

Before we get to a final bit of advice, we also need to consider what one means by trub. If I have used a hopsock and dump all my kettle contents into the fermentor, that is entirely different from someone who doesn't use a hopsock and dumps all their trub into the fermentor. That is a big difference.

Here is what I think is sensible practice...

1. Do everything you can to reduce hop trub. Using your BIAB bag as a hop sock works really well.
2. Don't try and get every last drop of liquid from your kettle. Plan and allow for some wastage.
3. Don't go to clumsy or difficult lengths to avoid some cloudy wort going into your fermentor. For example, filtering through cloths etc is likely to cause you a whole lot of other potential problems.

Finally for no-chillers. Do number 1 above for sure but be less worried about everything else going into the cube. This will settle out.

The above is my best interpretation of what is out there but I really do think it's one of these areas we will probably never be able to get enough quality information on.


P.S. I hope that helps because it took 1.75 hours of my Sunday morning to write :argh:. How that time just vanishes is another thing I think I'll never work out :).
Last edited by PistolPatch on 01 Jun 2014, 10:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #5 made 6 years ago
Wow thank you for your replies, especially PistolPatch for this very complete answer that took you so long to write :D
It sure helps, it's exactly what I was looking for, with plenty of statements from reliable sources.

I didn't use any hop socks so I'll use my biab bag next time, and I'll try to transfer as much wort as possible without worrying if a little trub gets in.

Post #6 made 6 years ago
My understanding is that we want to exclude "hot break" from the fermenter. Hot break is formed by the boil, eliminating undesirable proteins from the sweet liquor to produce wort. When we whirlpool we get a cone of trub formed by that "hot break" and hop debris. This I try to exclude entirely. "Cold break" formed by chilling or in the cube no chilling, I believe to be less detrimental to the beer.

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Post #9 made 6 years ago
A quick note on this. Don't worry about any of this. Reading all the crap by so called "Experts" is very misleading. If you get some trub in your fermenter all the better. Trube provides nutrients and settles to the bottom with (Irish moss) or other clarifiers. I have transferred all the trub or most of the trub. The result is the same. Clear wort without any off flavors. Don't over think this stuff. Brewing is easy (at our level) and needs very little work.
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Post #10 made 6 years ago
Thank you for that link Bundy! I really enjoyed reading about his experiment.

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Post #11 made 5 years ago
2trout wrote:Thank you for that link Bundy! I really enjoyed reading about his experiment.

Me too, thanks Bundy!
Last edited by nicko on 24 Nov 2014, 08:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #12 made 4 years ago
bundy wrote:Came across this interesting little experiment /article relating to trub into fermenter.
I Found it quite interesting reading. Obviously very limited test results but interesting non the less. For me though I'll continue to play safe and leave the trub for the garden!" onclick=";return false; ... ts-are-in/
After reading the exBEERiment, I dumped the contents of the kettle straight into the fermenter.

Three weeks later, I bottled a milky cloudy opaque IPA. The hydro sample tasted good so I figured I could use opaque cups and not worry.

One week later and I'm out of beer.

Desperate, I put a bottle in the fridge. It looks OK - only a bit hazy - hmmm. I figure I'll get some chill haze by dinner time.

I pour the "cloudy" IPA into a glass and I have THE CLEAREST BREW I HAVE EVER MADE. I have used Gelatin and Whirlfloc and not gotten beer this clear. Commercial brew clear. This beer dropped clear with one week in the bottle and eight hours in the fridge.

Crystal clear. Sediment stays put. Beer tastes awesome. No off flavors - great Simcoe aroma.

I have been using the same yeast, same basic ingredients in the same approximate ratios with only minor changes to hop variety - this is the only significant change to my process.
Last edited by Primavera on 17 Nov 2015, 09:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #13 made 4 years ago
Second brew using this technique - similar results.

Basic recipe - 90% 2-row, 10% Caramel 40, WLP002, Mash at 149°F/65°C for 90 minutes, boil 90 minutes, hopsock, chill and dump everything into the fermenter.
Ferment 3 weeks at 67°F and bottle. Hopsock used for dry hops as well.
No fining agents used.
Beer is very cloudy at bottling and clears completely in a week.
Not sure what is going on here, but it works and I get a little more VIF.
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Post #14 made 4 years ago

You may want to Try "Cold Crashing" by placing the fermenter is 35F fridge for a week, then Carefully siphon the Beer in to your Bottling System, and let it warm to Bottling Temperatures, and then Prime/Bottle.

The cold will drop most of the yeast, and Chill Haze Proteins, out of the Beer.

See ... hing-beer/
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Post #15 made 4 years ago

I have cold crashed before and it improves clarity by a bit. I have just never been impressed by the results after 48 hours. Perhaps my particular water chemistry/yeast/grain bill requires more time.

What I am observing here is opposite of what one would expect. More transferred trub should mean more suspended matter, and at bottling, this is the case. The surprising thing is that the beer drops clearer than similar batches using fining agents and cold crashing.

Again, this may be peculiar to my conditions, but it works.

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Post #16 made 4 years ago
Chris, a thought just popped into my head :drink:. It's something I haven't thought of before and I certainly haven't seen written anywhere but I think it just might explain why cloudier worts so often end up clearer. (You certainly aren't the only one to notice this effect.) Here's the light bulb that just went on. As to whether the bulb is faulty or not, who knows? :)


When you think about it, all finings add solids to the wort or still beer. They are either positively or negatively charged and they attract other solids to them and then sink. So, perhaps the solids that cause the cloudiness in some worts also have a charge that can attract other solids and then sink them out of suspension.

Would need some chemist to confirm that hypothesis but it certainly doesn't seem too left field to me.

:idea: :idea: :idea:
PP :smoke:

NOTE: Even if the above has validity, it does not necessarily mean that transferring trub to the fermentor is a great idea. Finings, for example, don't impart flavour to the wort but trub definitely can.
Last edited by PistolPatch on 23 Dec 2015, 19:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #17 made 4 years ago
Hi guys
I just brewed my first BIAB yesterday and everything went as planned except from the enormous trub at the end of the kettle.I measured 9 liters and this resulted to tranfer to the fermenter 19 liters instead of 23 liters that was the estimated volume.I didn't use a spider hop and i whirlpooled after the chilling finished.I stirred the mash a lot of times due to heating 2-3 times and trying to dissolve the CaSO4 i used to bring down the PH a couple of points (I mean .1 points).Other guys here in Greece that use BIAB told me that the trub is enormous and something might be wrong with my bag.Do you have anything to suggest?Is there a chance the voille i choose lets the "flour" pass through?

Post #18 made 4 years ago
Hi there Kostas ;),

Good to have another Kostas on the board and congratulations on your first BIAB :thumbs:.

I'd agree with your countrymen re the bag possibly being too porous. You want to have about 30 threads per cm. Try and post a pic of your bag here draped over your hand and see if you can measure the threads per cm using a magnifying glass or maybe by photographing it with your phone and zooming in.

If your bag is of the right porosity, you can also use it as a hop sock and this will save you having to whirlpool etc. (Whirlpooling often fails especially if you have an immersion chiller in there at the same time.)

I'm also a bit worried about your mentioning flour. Make sure your grain is crushed not pulverised. There is some more info on that here.

Definitely need to work out what the problem was on this one before your next brew though as the 9 litres is definitely too much. Hopefully the rest of the day went well for you.

Last edited by PistolPatch on 26 Jan 2016, 17:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #19 made 4 years ago
Hi PistolPatch

The "flour" is a term I used and is not correct.I was referring to the dust that is inevitable to have when you crash the grain.The grain was crashed very nicely by a professional.I will take a picture of the voile with a ruler on it and try to count the threads.Also I'll try to post it as well.

Thank you very much for the help.

Post #20 made 4 years ago
I counted the threads and the number is 30/cm so I guess the quality of the fabric is valid and I have to seek elsewhere for the enormous trub. Next time i will stir more vigorously to make a better whirlpool and I will siphon the wort to the fermenter.I thought about filtering some of the remaining trub with a voile filter I made.It is fairly basic but I think it will work.Sunday is brewday and I will report back what happened.

Post #21 made 4 years ago
Kostas - Are you using any kettle finings?

Irish moss/whirlfloc/protafloc can help congeal and compact the trub.
If you are using these finings, maybe it is your method of timing & dosage, just a thought?
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Post #23 made 4 years ago
Would still like to see a pic before you next brew Kostas as it could be that your threads are extraordinarily thin which means the thread count 'rule of thumb' may not be appropriate for your material.

On your next brew...

1. I'd forget the whirlpool on your next brew as there are more ways you can do it incorrectly than correctly.
2. Use your BIAB bag as a hop sock. (Add your first hops at 75 mins from end of boil. This will give you time to rinse the bag).
3. Give the wort time to settle after chilling.*
4. Syphoning will definitely give you far more control.

:peace: PP

* How are you chilling?
** Oh, and how wide is your kettle? Did you use a kettle tap on the first brew?
Post pics if possible.
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Post #24 made 4 years ago
My kettle is 75 lt and is 40 cm at the diameter and 62 cm high and made of stainless steel.I do chill with an immersion chiller made of stainless steel.Tomorrow that is the next brewday I will use the bag as a hops bag and I will whirlpool vigorously after the chilling.I can attach a picture because the file is very big.
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